Health Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea has been used for medicinal purposes in ancient times. Image: Pixabay

Green tea is considered one of the healthiest drinks in the world. It has one of the highest amounts of antioxidants compared to other teas. Green tea contains 20-45% polyphenols by weight, of which 60-80% are catechins. Catechins are powerful antioxidants that help prevent cell damage. Since green tea is minimally processed before it's poured into your cup, it's very rich in catechins.

Catechins are stronger than vitamins C and E in halting cell damage. Studies have found an association between green tea consumption and a reduced risk for several types of cancer, such as breast, lung, skin, colon, esophageal, and bladder.

Here are some health benefits of green tea: 

Weight Loss

Green tea increases metabolism. The polyphenol found in green tea works to intensify levels of fat oxidation and the rate at which your body turns food into calories. 

Lower risk of type 2 diabetes

Green tea can lower and help stabilize your blood sugar levels (glucose levels); in fact, studies show that green tea can even improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels. One study among Japanese individuals found that those who drank green tea had a very significantly lower risk of developing type II diabetes. Other studies have shown similar results.

Prevents tooth decay

Studies suggest that the chemical antioxidant “catechin” in tea can destroy bacteria and viruses that cause throat infections, dental caries, and other dental conditions

Reduces the risk of cancer

It can reduce the risk of esophageal cancer, but it is also widely thought to kill cancer cells in general without damaging the healthy tissue around them.

Fights infections and illness

Some of the bioactive compounds in green tea are anti-viral and anti-bacterial, in much the same way as green tea can kill bacteria in your mouth, it can also inhibit bacteria and viruses in your bloodstream and throughout the rest of your body. Similarly, green tea may inhibit viral and bacterial infection via your nasal passages.

Relaxes Mood

The amino acid L-theanine in green tea increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects. L-theanine also increases dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain, aiding relaxation, decreasing stress, and helping reduce depression.

Maintain healthy skin

Green tea can prevent wrinkles and the signs of aging because the antioxidants in green tea are able to fight free-radical damage. Similarly, the anti-inflammatory properties of green tea can help prevent damage to the skin from all sorts of harmful environmental stressors.

Reduces the risk of stroke

Drinking green tea regularly helps reduce the risk of stroke. People who drank green tea every day had approximately 20-30% lower risk for one type of stroke, compared to those who did not or seldom drank it. Adding green tea to your daily diet is a small but positive lifestyle change you can make to live longer.

Reduces blood pressure

Regular consumption of green tea is thought to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.

Protects from infections

Tea catechins are strong antibacterial and antiviral agents that make them effective for treating everything from influenza to cancer. In some studies, green tea has been shown to inhibit the spread of many diseases.